Nonito Donaire hails “amazing” Ryan Burnett following World Boxing Super Series injury win

‘The Filipino Flash’ could barely flash a smile after buckling an eighth world title around his waist in Scotland on Saturday night.

It seemed a freak reaction to another massive milestone from Nonito Donaire, but came after a fight which finished in freak fashion.

His opponent and WBSS top seed Ryan Burnett was unable to come out for the fifth round due to what seemed to be a hip injury.

The Irishman had been somewhat on top of a competitive fight until late in third round at the SSE Hydro.

Complaining of an injury in between rounds, Burnett would throw something out of place mid-way through the fourth, taking a knee in extreme pain after throwing a right hand. The Belfast man saw out the round but was pulled at the break crowning Donaire a bantamweight world champion seven years on from his initial reign.

The respectful Philippine fighter only enhanced his ‘Mr Nice Guy’ reputation by sympathizing with the Belfast 26-year-old and not gloating or over-celebrating following a win that was all but handed to him.

Indeed, at times the future Hall of Fame fighter looked more upset than a devastated and extremely unlucky Burnett and speaking after the victory he had nothing but respect for his unfortunate opponent.

Donaire, who set up a semi-final unification with Zolani Tete with the win, admitted it was how he wanted to win and hailed Burnett as an amazing fighter.

“As a warrior, as a fighter, you’ve got a guy like Burnett, who is an amazing, amazing fighter. Early on he just kept coming and was a great, great fighter – and to go that way wasn’t [the way] I’d like to win,” Donaire said after the bout.

“A win is a win but I’ve got to give it to Burnett he is amazing fighter. He was fast and was strong as well, he caught me with pretty punchers,” he added before suggesting he tried to box rather than bully Burnett on his return to bantamweight.

“I was a little bit more fighting like a bigger guy coming into this fight so my coaches snapped me out of it. [They told me] ‘you’ve got to box, you can box now, you don’t have to lay all your eggs in one basket’ and that’s what I started to do and started to used my speed like I usually had – and again, Burnett is an amazing fighter. ”

It’s a devastating loss, devastating manner to lose and devastating point at which to leave a tournament that offered undisputed status for Burnett.

Ireland also loses one of its world champions as only Katie Taylor and TJ Doheny are title holders at present and the reverse means the World Boxing Super Series won’t be coming to Belfast early next year, which is a blow to fans and the sport on this island in general.

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